Posts Tagged ‘feature’

The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for making a big show of eating a sensible breakfast because your flatmate has returned from a fortnight away and oh god she’d be so disappointed if she knew how your flu-addled husk had been living. Graham’s away so this is a little slim as I step in to share some good games writing from around the Internet.

On Waypoint Duncan Fyfe writes about how Sierra came to make Police Quest: Open Season with Daryl Gates, the disgraced Los Angeles police chief who resigned after the beating of Rodney King and ensuing riots. Read the rest of this entry »

Rusty Lake talk Rusty Lake, Twin Peaks,
and making money from properly free games

The Rusty Lake universe absolutely fascinates me. Consisting of nine free room escape oddities, and three longer premium puzzling adventures, each adds clues and confusion to a deeply creepy and unsettling mystery surrounding the eponymous lake. With the recent release of the superb Rusty Lake Paradise, I wanted to speak to the two-man development team to find out how it got started, where it’s going, and how they’ve managed to keep going while making so many properly free games. So I did.

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Dreamy flying game InnerSpace is Abzu’s awkward cousin

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There are two games in recent memory which left me with an immediate thirst for more. Not in terms of story answers or glitzier sequels – it was simply that I wanted more of the same experience. I’d play a second Inside in a heartbeat – just more strings of strange and blackly comic scenes with well-judged, lethal puzzling. And I’d leap at the chance to swim in more of Abzu‘s gorgeous oceans, fish-watching anew. In lieu of that, InnerSpace looked like the next best thing – flying a spectral plane over land and undersea, gawping at fantasy fishies, revelling in glorious freedom of movement and a wash of colours, enduring no pressure other than that which I imposed upon myself.

InnerSpace isn’t that, despite appearances and more than a few similarities. InnerSpace is far too scared that I might get bored. And so there is smashing, and strafing, and chatty demi-gods aplenty.

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Corsair Scimitar Pro RGB and MM800c RGB Polaris review: The ultimate rainbow lightshow

Corsair Scimitar Pro RGB

When I first saw Corsair’s Scimitar mouse a couple of years ago, I thought it was the most bonkers-looking thing I’d ever seen. Just like its equally mad successor, the Scimitar Pro RGB I’ve got here, it had 12 mechanical buttons on the side. Twelve! This is a calculator, not a mouse, I thought to myself at the time. How could anyone possibly need 12 individual mouse buttons?

Of course, both the Scimitar and the Scimitar Pro RGB are often trailed by the words “MOBA” and MMO”, and I’m sure there’s a handful of such players who might find this kind of thing useful. Admittedly, neither genre is my particular forte, so I’m largely going to be looking at the Scimitar Pro RGB in the context of an ordinary gaming mouse. And just in case its four RGB lighting zones weren’t enough for you, I’ve also got Corsair’s MM800c RGB Polaris mouse mat here as well, which has – wait for it – FIFTEEN RGB lighting zones that can sync with the same theme on your Scimitar Pro for the ultimate desk-side rainbow show.

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Unknown Pleasures: The best five unsung games on Steam this week

Which new games on Steam have the most bestness?

Studies say that this week is the best week of the year to move house for gillionth time, attempt the thirteenth Herculean task of speaking to the one human in a Royal Mail call centre, then injure your back. Anti-frustration, then, would be a perfect theme for this week’s Unknown Pleasures.

Washing down an inadequate course of ibuprofen this week: artificial mortality, shotgun-based exploration, and zero gravity monster-dodging.

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Have You Played… Wunderdoktor?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

Pulling worms out of eye sockets, popping eyeballs back into those sockets, then retrieving the ghosts from inside someone’s skull might sound like a grisly business, but Wunderdoktor finds the fun in fungal infections. We’re talking actual toadstools growing where toadstools should not grow. Or bits of coral, or little dancing spikes, or whatever the heck else the denizens of Wunderdoktor’s strange and macabre world have managed to get lodged in their flesh.

There’s more to this delightful game than cute-gross visuals though. It’s brill. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think- Total War: Warhammer 2 – Rise of the Tomb Kings DLC

why the long, skinless face?

I can sympathise, at least a little, with the ancient Egyptian-themed undead known as the Tomb Kings, and who are Total War: Warhammer 2’s newest faction. A decade ago, I was trapped underneath the Great Pyramid of Giza for a mere 20 minutes while another tourist had a claustrophobia-induced panic attack. Waking up inside a pyramid and discovering that your innards are full of embalming fluid and you have only rags to hide your desiccated shame would, I imagine, be a little bit more unpleasant. No wonder they want to murder all the living.

With a chip on their bony shoulders and an appetite for power and conquest, the Tomb Kings are comfortable fit for Total War, even more so than their multitude of warlike adversaries. They’re an unceasing military machine that has yet to discover a problem that it can’t fling an infinite number of disposable animated corpses at, over and over again. This new faction is, however, something of an acquired taste, with some uneven integration into the campaign – but nonetheless the Tomb Kings are a surprisingly forgiving starting point for newcomers.

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Best PC gaming deals of the week

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The internet is currently aflame with hundreds of takes of varying heat levels based on Nintendo’s cardboard gaming venture, but that doesn’t concern us – unless, of course, some hardware company is working on something that involves stuffing your keyboard into a papercraft robot. This doesn’t mean there aren’t gadgets and games aplenty to salivate over in our little corner of the internet, though.

As always, we’ve gathered a batch of the best PC gaming deals of the week (UK, US and other places too) so far. This week: free Carmageddon, cheap Civ 6, gaming laptops, speedy SSDs and our 2017 GOTY.

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Wot I Think: Nantucket

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My rotten sloop is wheezing into port, the decks slick with blubber and blood, and still it isn’t enough. The sea teems with life and before this day is done, I swear I will silence all of it. From our home port to the distant shores of Europe and Africa, the water will run red.

This is Nantucket, a strategic-RPG about the golden age of whaling. I’m hunting for Moby Dick but it’s a long voyage from lowly captain to vengeance and fate personified. Mostly, my time is spent stabbing tiny baby whales until they turn into piles of money and food.

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HyperX Cloud Flight review: Near wireless gaming headset perfection

HyperX Cloud Flight

It’s been barely a week since the annual CES tech bonanza shut up shop for another year, but HyperX has wasted no time getting in its very first wireless gaming headset out into the wild. Dubbed the Cloud Flight, this 2.4GHz headset boasts the longest battery life of any of its wireless competitors – up to a whopping 30 hours to be precise.

That’s enough time to play a complete run through of AC Oranges or that same cathedral at the start of Dark Souls III over and over again because god damn Vordt of the Boreal Valley is just too damn hard. The question is, is it actually any good?

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Podcast: The party podcast talks good local multiplayer

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Aw, hey! I’m so glad you came. You know, I was saying to Alice, just a second ago I was saying to her: “I hope our favourite listener drops in” and now look here you are. That’s great, that’s so nice. YOU’RE nice. Ha ha. Have a drink. No thank you, I’ve had twelve. Look, there’s Adam. Watch out though, he’s gabbing on about Overcooked and those Jackbox Party Packs But never mind, Alice is outside by the paddling pool, talking some chumps into a game of Jelly Stompers. I also think she has a copy of Deadly Premonition with her for some reason. Brendan? He’s in the kitchen, probably boring somebody about Gang Beasts. Best stay here. With me, the Electronic Wireless Show. Read the rest of this entry »

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070Ti review: Better than the GTX 1080?

Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1070 Ti is a bit of a funny old thing. I’ve spent countless hours trying, and failing, to determine where this 4K-bothering card sits in Nvidia’s overall strategy,  and while its position in the Nvidia hierarchy is obvious – between the GTX 1070 and the GTX 1080 – it seems to be more of a toned-down 1080 than a souped-up 1070. It’s got hundreds more cores than the GTX 1070 – 2432 of them, compared to just 1920, but falls short of the GTX 1080 by just 128 of them. Why, then, would you not just make that tiny extra leap to a full-fat GTX 1080?

To help answer that question, I’ve got Zotac’s take, the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti AMP Extreme, while Katharine has MSI’s GTX 1070 Ti Gaming 8G. Together, we should hopefully find out how Nvidia’s newest card stacks up against its siblings.

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DUSK is a delicious cocktail of nineties shooters

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A lot of people are comparing DUSK to Quake. They’re not wrong to do that; there are enough brown polygons and chunky weapons to bring back memories of nailguns, ogres and Trent Reznor’s ominous drones.

My mind turned to Blood though. DUSK begins with b-movie horror tropes as chainsaws whirr and cultists shriek threats, and from there it takes a tour through pretty much the whole of nineties shooters, as I remember them.

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Slay the Spire is pretty good and here’s why

slay-the-spire-1

Slay the Spire is a juicy, bloody fillet of a card game rolled around in the random oils and spices of a roguelike. I’d further this culinary analogy by cooking it in an RPG oven but let’s just go ahead and eat it raw. Because it’s delicious. Also, I’m a vampire now. I had an altercation in a glowing city and the game took all my normal attack cards and replaced them with “bite” cards, transforming me into a frail but dangerous demon of the night. I’m fine with this.

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Have You Played… Kingdoms and Castles?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

I spent a long, lazy weekend with Kingdoms and Castles and it was one of the most purely pleasant gaming experiences I had in 2017. Read the rest of this entry »

Corsair K70 Lux RGB review: Softly, softly with the MX Silent edition

Corsair K70 Lux RGB header

As much as I loved the Asus ROG Claymore when I tested it at the end of last year, there’s still a very large part of me that balks at the idea of spending £150 on a mechanical keyboard. After years of being perfectly happy with admittedly terrible plastic membrane concoctions, it’s hard to let go.

The Corsair K70 Lux RGB isn’t any less expensive at roughly £145 or $170, but at least this one doesn’t charge you an extra £50 for a number pad, making it better value overall for those looking to make the jump.

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Have You Played… Attack On Pearl Harbor?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

I, you will be confused and perhaps upset to learn, am not Tim Stone. I know as much about flight sims as I do quantum mechanics, and find both equally approachable. When it comes to flying games, my interests lie at the arcadiest of arcadiness, and find their absolute joy in Attack On Pearl Harbor. Read the rest of this entry »

“We want to build out a world of sim games”
How Two Point Hospital is a step toward bringing Bullfrog-era sim games back from the dead

two-point-hospital-1

As you may already have spotted, Theme Hospital joins the legions of 90s PC games being blessed with 21st century spiritual sequels. The Sega-published Two Point Hospital is the first game from Two Point Studios, the new endeavour from Bullfrog and Lionhead alumni Gary Carr and Mark Webley, Their plan, ultimately, is to follow-up Hospital with a clutch of other theme/sim/management games set in the same world – picking up, perhaps, where the Peter Molyneux-founded Bullfrog left off when EA closed them down.

I chatted to Carr, Webley and Two Point technical director Ben Hymers (himself an ex-Lionheader) about why they’re returning to Theme Hospital, why now, the importance of humour to it, what’s the same and what’s different, how the audience has changed since 1997, how they’ve been inspired by Prison Architect, Planet Coaster and Twin Peaks, and their plans for that world of sim games.
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Nowhere Prophet is a post-apocalyptic trip with a soul

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A large dog-like creature had been sniffing around our camp while we slept. The road hadn’t been kind to us and our food supplies were running low. Truth be told, my own altruistic streak was responsible for most of our problems; we’d picked up stragglers and waifs wherever we found them, and had far too many mouths to feed.

But this dog-thing was not joining us, it was trying to steal from us. One of my medics reckoned he knew how to deal with it, no confrontation necessary. To my surprise, he got a group together and simply dragged its bulk away from the camp, and then tipped it into a ravine.

As far as I can tell, it remained passive right up until the moment it hit the floor. Nowhere Prophet is a beautiful game set in a strange and ugly world.

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Yume Nikki’s legacy: an invitation to dream

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To see Yume Nikki appear on Steam feels like the closing of an era. This surreal game is a relic from a bygone age, when the concept of “indie” was still strange and the World Wide Web felt smaller, darker and more mysterious. It’s the stuff dreams are made of, which is fitting, since it revolves entirely around sleeping.

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